Vikings 13

(5-5, 1-4 away)

Buccaneers 19

(7-3, 5-0 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, November 16, 2008

Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL 

1 2 3 4 T
MIN 3 10 0 013
TB 3 3 7 619

Top Performers

Passing: J. Garcia (TB) - 255 YDS

Rushing: A. Peterson (MIN) - 19 CAR, 85 YDS

Receiving: J. Stevens (TB) - 6 REC, 84 YDS

Garcia improves to 4-1 since regaining starting role as Bucs stop Peterson, Vikes

Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. -- Jeff Garcia takes pride in excelling in a young man's game. Even if it does take a toll on his 38-year-old body.

Fast Facts

• The Bucs improved to 5-0 at home this season.

• Adrian Peterson came up short in his bid for a fifth straight 100-yard game, running for 85 yards on 19 carries.

• This was the first meeting between the former NFC Central foes since 2005. The Bucs have now won four straight and eight of the nine played in Tampa.

-- ESPN research and The Associated Press

• Rapid Reaction

"It's that Fountain of Youth I walk up to every single day, trying to keep myself as young as possible," the Tampa Bay quarterback said Sunday after leading the Buccaneers to a 19-13 victory over Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings.

Garcia threw for 255 yards without an interception and scrambled for two first downs on a time-consuming go-ahead field goal drive in the fourth quarter. He improved to 4-1 since regaining the starting quarterback job he lost when he played poorly in a season-opening loss.

Coach Jon Gruden benched the three-time Pro Bowl selection because he felt Garcia was not playing with the same reckless abandon he did in helping the Bucs (7-3) make the playoffs last year. Since getting another chance when Brian Griese was injured in Week 5, Garcia has rejuvenated the offense with his ability to improvise and make plays on the run.

"He moves around and you don't know what he's seeing and what he's thinking. That's his game," Gruden said. "He's a creative player, and his legs are his ally. I've tried to be honest with him the whole time. We need his legs and we need his scramble ability, his elusiveness in the pocket."

Peterson ran for 85 yards on 19 carries through three quarters, but his bid for a fifth consecutive 100-yard game fell short when the Vikings ran just eight plays -- none of them runs by the NFL's leading rusher -- in the fourth quarter.

Garcia, who completed 23 of 30 passes, was the main reason. He moved the Bucs 69 yards in 13 plays, burning nearly nine minutes off the clock to take a 16-13 lead on Matt Bryant's third field goal of the game.

Minnesota fumbled on the ensuing kickoff, Tampa Bay (7-3) recovered and Bryant added his fourth field goal for a six-point lead with 3:30 to go. The Vikings (5-5) had two opportunities to put together a winning drive, but turned the ball over on downs with 2:24 left and lost a fumble on their final possession.

"Honestly, I thought the first half we did a pretty good job running the ball. But the second half, we didn't have too many opportunities to run," Peterson said. "It took us totally out of our game. I really think that was the difference."

Bryant had field goals of 39, 26, 29 and 26 yards, and B.J. Askew scored the Bucs' lone touchdown on a 1-yard run in the third quarter. Gus Frerotte threw a 3-yard TD pass to Bobby Wade and Ryan Longwell kicked field goals of 43 and 37 yards in the first half for Minnesota.

"Tough outcome. We knew that we'd have to come down here and play error-free football," Viking coach Brad Childress said. "Probably the only positive is that we've got a chance to win the NFC North. Everybody is 5-5."

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Minnesota Vikings Video

Watch highlights from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 19-13 win over the Minnesota Vikings.

Peterson was coming off a 192-yard performance against Green Bay and was trying to match the Vikings' franchise record for consecutive 100-yard games set by Robert Smith in 2000. He gained 51 yards on six carries, but was not nearly as successful the rest of the day -- gaining 14 yards on six attempts in the second half.

The Bucs' defense, which embraced the challenge of facing Peterson for the first time, did not allow a 100-yard rusher in the first eight weeks of the season. Kansas City's Jamaal Charles stopped the streak, but Derrick Brooks and Co. were equal to the task of slowing Peterson.

"He had one or two breakout runs in the first half, but other than that we kept him pretty much under wraps," linebacker Barrett Ruud said.

Trailing 13-6, the Bucs took the second-half kickoff and drove 80 yards in 11 plays to tie the score on Askew's first career TD. Garcia overcame holding penalties on consecutive plays with a 31-yard completion to Jerramy Stevens on second-and-25 from the Vikings 32.

Brooks made one of the biggest defensive plays of the game, breaking up a deep pass intended for Peterson on fourth-and-1 from the Vikings 49, on Minnesota's next possession. The speedy running back might have turned it into a game-changing touchdown if Brooks hadn't made the play.

"This is a great accomplishment by these guys, and we're going to see more top [running backs] down the stretch," Gruden said.

Frerotte completed 14 of 20 passes for 138 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. He was sacked five times.

The Bucs played most of the game without leading rusher Earnest Graham, slowed by knee and ankle injuries. Warrick Dunn gained 53 yards on 20 carries, and with Garcia scrambling for 21 yards on six attempts, Tampa Bay finished with 108 yards on the ground.

"These type of games definitely wear on you," Garcia said. "I can't play like this every single weekend, but there were opportunities for me to use my legs today."

Game notes

It was the first meeting since 2005 between the former NFC Central rivals. The Bucs have won eight of the last nine played in Tampa. ... Graham limped off after his only carry, a 3-yard gain.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs1421
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Total Plays5264
Total Yards210363
Yards per play4.05.7
Total Drives910
Yards per pass
Interceptions thrown
Sacks-Yards Lost
Rushing Attempts
Yards per rush
Red Zone (Made-Att)1-11-5
Fumbles lost
Interceptions thrown
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

minFG6:58Ryan Longwell 43 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 8 plays, 36 yds, 4:44
tbFG2:54Matt Bryant 39 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 9 plays, 58 yds, 4:05
minTD13:40Bobby Wade 4 Yard Pass From Gus Frerotte (Ryan Longwell Kick is Good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 76 yds, 4:15
tbFG7:51Matt Bryant 26 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 10 plays, 64 yds, 5:45
minFG1:52Ryan Longwell 37 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 12 plays, 51 yds, 6:01
tbTD9:33B.J. Askew 1 Yard Run (Matt Bryant Kick is Good)
Drive info: 11 plays, 80 yds, 5:35
tbFG5:41Matt Bryant 29 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 13 plays, 69 yds, 8:52
tbFG3:34Matt Bryant 26 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 7 plays, 18 yds, 1:59